'American Idol': Jessica Sanchez, Phillip Phillips and other finalists open up on hopes, fears and nerves
For each of the artists, this is a whole new experience. They've never sung in front of millions of viewers while competing for potentially millions of dollars.
At a post-show event, Zap2it had a chance to meet with the finalists and get their perspective on the show, their goals and the pressures they face. Here is some of what they had to say:
-- Colton Dixon on thinking he was getting set home: "Whenever [ Ryan Seacrest] said my name, my heart stopped. Whenever he said, 'Colton, take the stage,' my feet felt like cement.
-- Joshua Ledet on the challenges he faces: "The biggest challenge would probably have to be being shaped and molded into what America wants me to be. Because I know it's not just about me. It's about the fans and everybody else."
-- Jessica Sanchez on her nerves: "When they called me up, I was a nervous wreck. I wanted to cry so bad."
-- Jermaine Jones on getting called back: "I thought I was done for forever. I was out for a couple weeks. Then the show called me back. It was like, you know, 'We would like to have you back.' The first thing that comes to my head is just 'I can't believe this. Somebody's pranking me.' But that would be a very, very mean joke."
-- Elise Testone on performing the same song ( Adele's "One and Only") as Jen Hirsh: "I just kind of was upset that they let that happen because I was so excited the song itself. I felt like it was my thing."
-- Erika Van Pelt on her singing style: "I've been told that some of the strength that comes from my voice is in my restraint. I do take pride in the fact that I can pull back a little bit and still emote everything that I want to when I sing. Of course I like to belt it out and reach for the rafters."
-- DeAndre Brackensick on what fans can expect from him: "[I'm] still going to do falsetto, I'm not going to give that up. That's who I am. Even if you don't like it, that's who I am."
-- Skylar Laine on her high-energy performance style: "That's how I always try to perform. America hasn't really gotten to see it quite yet, and I'm so glad they did last night. That's how I want to do all my rock songs."
-- Phillip Phillips on his style: "I'm just another musician trying to make it. I'm not about the image. I just want the music to speak to people."
-- Heejun Han on his goals: "I want to be a person who can move people's heart. I do believe music is the only material where you can change people's perspective and people's hearts."
-- Jeremy Rosado on being a contestant: "You go through a lot. People don't realize how difficult this actually is. But it's pretty crazy."
So Zappers, who are you rooting for?